20 years later, Subway Sequence stands alone in baseball lore

Editor’s observe: The 2000 World Sequence between the Yankees and Mets started 20 years in the past Wednesday. On the anniversary, we glance again on the collection that captivated town.

The concept had all the time been intertwined with fantasy, tinged by nostalgia. Nothing has ever made New Yorkers of a sure era extra wistful than the time period “Subway Sequence.” It conjures pictures of stickball and porch ball and countless debate: Willie, Mickey, or the Duke?

It may instantly press a rewind button, render the world black and white the place everybody appreciated Ike, conjure pictures of Elvis from the waist up on “Ed Sullivan.” The subways would without end price solely a nickel, the newspapers a few pennies, bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium, Ebbets Area and the Polo Grounds two bits.

It led to some flights of fancy. On March 22, 1962, at St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Stadium, which had as soon as been the spring dwelling of the Yankees and now housed the enlargement Mets, Richie Ashburn’s single within the backside of the ninth gave the Mets a 4-3 win over the Yankees within the first exhibition sport between the groups.

The Mets showered Casey Stengel with champagne, offered by the workforce’s giddy proprietor, Joan Payson. When Stengel arrived within the press room he was greeted by veteran, grizzled newsmen who broke into applause, and Stengel winked and mentioned, “We received’t beat them each time, .” Then the entire Mets workforce went out to dinner, on Payson’s dime.

For years, this was the way it appeared this “rivalry” can be contested: in meaningless video games, underneath innocent circumstances, nothing a lot on the desk apart from nebulous “bragging rights.” From 1963 till 1984, the groups competed for the Mayor’s Trophy, however all that did was underscore how a lot of a non-rivalry this actually was.

Mariano Rivera celebrates the Yankees third straight World Sequence title in opposition to the Mets in 2000.Charles Wenzelberg/Charles Wenze

For the groups, throughout many of the first 35 or so years they shared town, appeared destined to without end exist at reverse baseball extremes: one up, the opposite down. One ascendant, the opposite flatlining. The video games drew effectively however principally they afforded the struggling workforce an opportunity to swipe one sliver of glory out of countless, empty summers.

Within the first, June 20, 1963, Stengel managed like Sport 7 of the World Sequence and his Metsies — coming off a 120-loss season, within the midst of piling on 111 extra — beat the two-time defending champion Yanks, 6-2, in entrance of 52,430 in The Bronx. Afterward, Mets followers stormed the sphere.

“YIPEEEEE!” declared The Put up’s again web page.

Seven years later it was the Mets who dominated baseball and the Yankees who have been begging for consideration, and whereas the ’70 Yankees received 93 video games that counted, the one they celebrated most was one which didn’t: a 9-4 drubbing of the champion Mets Aug. 17 at Yankee Stadium that impressed the Yanks’ Fritz Peterson to crow: “Who’s amazin’ now?!”

Bernie Williams hits a homer in Sport 6 of the Subway Sequence in 2000.New York Put up

Even when the groups began to satisfy for actual, interleague play launched in 1997, there was all the time a remaining layer of urgency lacking from the proceedings. The Mets received the primary assembly, 6-0, behind a shutout from Dave Mlicki. The Yankees received the majority of the video games that adopted the following few years, 11 of the primary 18 performed via the 2000 common season.

In ’99, the groups had hinted at a possible matchup, however the Mets wound up digging an 0-3 NLCS gap for themselves in opposition to the Braves and although that collection resulted in Sport 6 heartbreak, no actual momentum was allowed to construct due to the hopeless deficit.

A yr later was totally different. A yr later, the Mets and Yankees received their division collection in memorable trend over a pair of Bay Space counterparts — the Mets beating the Giants when Bobby Jones threw a one-hitter to shut out Sport 4, the Yankees drubbing the A’s with six first-inning runs to make an excessive level in Sport 5.

Then, the Mets overwhelmed the Cardinals in 5 video games within the NLCS, the ultimate out coming when Timo Perez danced an anticipatory jitterbug earlier than catching the ultimate out of Sport 5. Later that evening, in a quiet second in his workplace, Mets supervisor Bobby Valentine would admit, “I’m undecided I ought to need the Yankees to win, as a result of they’re some workforce. However, my gosh, wouldn’t a Subway Sequence be one thing?”

Twenty-four hours later, the Yankees closed out the Mariners in Sport 6 of the ALCS. Trailing 4-3 within the seventh, David Justice crushed a three-run homer off Arthur Rhodes into the Stadium’s higher deck. On the radio, broadcaster Michael Kay’s voice elevated an octave or three, echoing hundreds of thousands of New York baseball followers as he cried, “GET YOUR TOKENS READY! YOU MIGHT BE BOARDING THE SUBWAY!”

4 days later — Oct. 21, 2000, 20 years in the past Wednesday — we’d. We might stuff the subway. We might cram the Deegan and the GW Bridge. There can be 55,913 of us at Yankee Stadium to look at Don Larsen throw a ceremonial pitch to Yogi Berra — 44 years and 13 days after Larsen’s excellent sport had highlighted the newest Subway Sequence — and to see Andy Pettitte throw a 93 mph fastball to Perez, low, for Ball 1.

The wait was over. The dream was actual. And it might be simply as spectacular as we’d ever hoped it might be.

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